Locating the £19bn lost pension pots


Is there an old pension plan out there with your name on it? Studies have estimated there are more than £19bn of lost and forgotten pension pots waiting to be reunited with their owners, many of them worth thousands of pounds.

This is typically money that people paid into a former employer’s pension scheme and then forgot about, or lost track of. The good news is, locating it is often a lot easier than you might think. Losing track of retirement cash typically occurs when changing jobs or moving home – for example, you forget to tell the company you used to work for that you have moved to a new address. In the meantime, the firm that managed your money may have been taken over, changed names or largely shut down.

The average person will have around 11 different jobs (which potentially means 11 pension pots) over their lifetime, and move home eight times. Many workers in their 20s and 30s have already worked for half a dozen or more employers.  So it’s probably no wonder there are potentially about 1.6m pots worth £19.4bn lying unclaimed. That estimate comes from a study published by the Association of British Insurers, which calls it a “lost pensions mountain”.

The Pension Tracing Service and TPAS can both be used to try to locate lost or forgotten workplace or personal pensions. The PTS is a free service which searches a database of schemes to try to find the contact details you need. However, you will need the name of an employer or pension provider, and the service will not tell you whether you have a pension, or what its value is.